This was supposed to be a vignette about Natasha. Instead, it morphed into this monstrosity. Oops.

Warnings for oblique mentions of rape and explicit consensual sex.

All mistakes are my own.

Natasha was drinking alone. It was a habit she picked up a long time ago, in what seemed like another life.

Fifteen years ago, before the Avengers, before SHEILD, back when she was still Natalia Romanova, not quite even the Black Widow yet, she'd already discovered what happens to pretty, young, recently orphaned girls who drank themselves into a stupor.

She only made that mistake once.

Even now that she knows how to handle her liquor, and she can take care of herself, she rarely drinks in front of other people. Even when she does, it's never to excess. The Black Widow is controlled. Emotionless. Powerful.

Right now, even three sheets to the wind, she can recognize that perhaps she should have stopped drinking half a bottle ago, but it's Wednesday and Loki is gone and she is alive and Coulson is dead and she just isn't quite ready to face all of it yet.

So she sits, alone, staring out the window on the twenty-third floor of Stark's busted tower, and she drinks Tony's good vodka that she and Clint found on a early morning raid through the kitchens the day of Coulson's funeral. It's not Russian, but it's expensive, and she stopped really tasting it two hours ago anyway.

Sometimes, she thinks she never should have defected. Life was easier when she killed everyone and everything that looked at her sideways. She needed nothing, wanted nothing, and most importantly, felt nothing.

Deep down, Natasha knows that she's better off with SHEILD, that she has a chance to clean her conscious here among people who maybe don't condone her past, but they acknowledge it and use it just the same.

She hasn't quite worked up to liking Fury yet, but she respects him and his decisions and that's good enough for a 30-something ex-Russian spy who knows more about killing than living.

Fury and the rest of the higher ups really aren't the problem, though. It's her colleagues (if that's even the right word) that cause her the most trouble. They're the ones that make her think, even wonder about herself.

This was not a problem in Russia.

Rogers unnerves her more than she would like to admit.

He's a relic, like her, but so damned earnest and true. He's what she might have been, could have been, if her parents hadn't died and if the Red Room hadn't been what it was and if she'd refused her first hit.

But instead of well-meaning scientists and super drugs, she was turned into a freak by thugs and hallucinogens.

She admits that her fear of Rogers really might be jealousy.

Tony . . . well, she isn't quite sure what to make of him. He's a jackass, obviously. He has no mouth-brain filter, which is normally enough to set her to secretly plan all the different ways she could make his death seem like an accident.

Instead, she thinks that maybe she's starting to like the guy.

Banner too is something of an enigma.

He's tends to keep to his own business, which Natasha can respect and appreciate. He's quiet, too, but in a very Bruce kind of way. Two days after they'd shipped Loki back to Asgard, she'd found Banner absentmindedly fiddling with the pieces on a chess board while eating a sandwich in one of the few Stark tower rec rooms undamaged by the Chitauri.

She'd briefly considered backing out of the room as silently as she entered it, but Natalia Romanova doesn't back down from things. So instead she'd challenged him to a match.

Six hours later, they were staring at each other with slitted eyes, trying to gauge the other's next move when Tony entered the room with Pepper, Rogers, and four pizzas in tow.

They have a rematch scheduled for next week.

If Banner is an enigma, then Thor is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, surrounded by a mystery. She's okay with believing in gods, or whatever Thor is, but she isn't so sure what to think of jovial, brash gods who can put away half a block of shawarma meat and still walk away from the restaurant munching on several pounds of baklava.

This is to say nothing of gods with homicidal brothers. Maybe if he comes back she'll be able to get a better read on him.

And then there's Clint.

Barton scares her most of all.

When it was just the two of them working for SHEILD, it was easier to keep everything in check. She could just go on with life, pretending that their occasional romp between the sheets was nothing more than a pressure release, a way to dissipate the excess adrenaline after a mission.

Then Loki happened, and she was forced to think about how to kill Clint, and instead of feeling her usual mix of adrenaline and resolve, she'd just felt sick.

The sick feeling hasn't gone away.

She's angry at herself for feeling this way. She wants to be self-sufficient, able to bounce back from any situation with only the occasional help from alcohol. She does not want this urge she has to run her hands all over his body, checking for bruises.

Apparently, however, her feet have other plans.

It's well past midnight when she finds herself standing in front of the room Clint has inhabited in Stark tower, the last dregs of her vodka swirling in the bottom of the bottle.

She's about to come to her senses and turn away, but then the door opens, and Clint is there, and now they're staring at each other, and boy isn't this just awkward.

She doesn't want to appear indecisive in front of him, she needs to be the strong one for him, so she takes the last swig from her bottle to break their stare, then holds the empty bottle out to him.

"Do you know where I can recycle this?"

The absurdity would be funny, should be funny, but instead Clint looks as plastered as she feels, and now he's staring at her lips and the sick feeling has morphed into some kind of wonderful light-headedness, and she's pretty sure she's going to have the chance to check his body for those bruises.

He nods, says something she can't quite parse, and lets her into his room. She brushes past him, and her shoulder feels like its burning where it brushed against his chest. She can feel his eyes boring holes in her back as she places the bottle on a small table next to an array of weapons and cleaning solvents.

She turns around to find his gaze guiltily snapping up to meet her face. Any other man she caught staring at her ass would rapidly find himself unconscious or bleeding. Probably both.

Scratch that. Definitely both.

But instead, Natasha smirks and lets the vodka do the talking.

"See something you like, Barton?" She raises one eyebrow and crosses her arms underneath her chest in a halfhearted attempt to use her body as a distraction.

She knows she can be very, very distracting.

And maybe if it works, he won't ask her why she's found her way here when she hasn't been to see him in days.

She knows enough about people to recognize that she's trying to gain the upper hand.

She knows enough about herself to recognize that she's bluffing.

Clint knows enough about her to call her bluff, and he meets her eyes and nods, whispering a rough, "Yes."

He closes the distance between them in two strides, taking her face in his hands, peering into her eyes and seeking permission. She feels like she can't breathe properly, and she opens her mouth a little, panting.

No one has ever been able to turn the tables on her so easily.

Then again, she's never let anyone.

He must have found the permission he was looking for, because he's kissing her and its hard and soft, demanding and sweet, both everything and nothing like she was ever trained for. It's all she can do to hold on, kissing him back and clutching at his shoulders like he's her last link to solid ground.

Maybe he is.

He tastes like beer, the cheap kind that he prefers, but will deny liking to anyone but her.

He scoots her back onto the table, and he kisses a line down to her throat, gently nipping the skin he finds there. She grasps at his head, running her fingers through his short hair as she throws her own head back.

She groans as he thrusts his groin against her, and she can feel his hardness through the layers of their pants. She wraps her legs around his waist, using the strength of her thighs to clutch him closer, grinding against him.

And then suddenly it's too much and she's a teenager again and drunk for the first time and it's not Clint with her it's them and she can't breathe and she can't move and . . .

She whimpers and shoves Clint away from her, but it's not her pushing, not really, it's Natalia.

"Stop . . . I . . ." she doesn't know what to say, she's just staring wide-eyed at Clint, breathless, but for very different reasons than a minute ago.

Clint takes a step back, hands up, and meets her gaze. He'd sobered instantly when she panicked; they've been here before. He meets her gaze for a long minute before speaking.

"It's okay, Tash. I don't want to do anything you don't."

Then he smiles at her, the rueful grin that he saves only for her, and something inside of her breaks a little. Maybe it's the tone of his voice or the sentiment or the way that he uses the nickname he gave her, a real nickname instead of yet another code name, but maybe it's just because he's Clint and she's always been a different creature around Clint.

She knows he means it, that they can stop right now and it won't change anything between them. He'll still be Clint tomorrow and she'll still be Tash and they're a team, no matter what.

So she exhales a chuckle, rolls her eyes a little at God or herself or Jarvis or whoever's listening, and she kisses him.

It's sweet at first, the chastest kiss she's ever had, close mouthed and warm. His hands smooth over her hair, and it's then that she notices the slight tremor in his hands, so faint that if it were anyone else, she would think she's imagined it. But it's Clint, and he's always steady except now when he's not, and so she knows that he's feeling unmade right now, too. It doesn't change the past, but it lets her accept it a little more than she could before.

So she pushes Natalia aside, she pushes the Widow aside, she pushes even Natasha aside, and all that's left is Tash, the girl Clint once saved in the ass end of nowhere.

It isn't long before his mouth is traveling again, this time down her throat to her chest, and he mouths her breast through the thin fabric of her camisole. It's like a shot of electricity straight to her core when he bites down, and she can feel herself grow wet.

"Clint . . ." she murmurs his name, and he looks at her, lust and some other, unnamable emotion thick in his gaze. "Please . . ."

He doesn't need to ask for clarification. He knows her, he know this.

It's just like they were never so rudely interrupted by her past and they pick up speed again, falling easily into the familiarity of the other.

He picks her up off the table and tosses her onto his too narrow bed, and she lands with her legs dangling over the side. She props herself up on her elbows to get a better view as he disrobes, curiosity aroused right along with the rest of her.

Clint pulls his shirt over his head and she bites her lip, hard, trying desperately to gain some vestige of control.

It's not working.

He looks perfect to her - all hard lines and smoothness marred by crisscrossing scars and bruises.

She knows that she's responsible for a number of them. After all, she has her own matching set.

She stares unabashedly as he makes quick work of his pants, unbuttoning and shucking them unceremoniously onto the floor. Her own hands wander, too, and she touches herself through her sweat pants, mouth wide open and eyes fixed on the trail of hair running below Clint's navel.

Clint is staring, too and his jaw slackens. His voice is rough when he kneels between her legs and brushes her hand away.

"Let me, baby."

By all rights, the nickname should piss her off. And, truthfully, she'll probably make him pay for it later when she's Natasha again. But for now, when she's just Tash and Clint lets the endearment slip, she opens her legs a little wider and slips a foot up to his shoulder.

He grins at her, and it's wicked and full of promises that she knows he'll keep.

He drags her pants and underwear off together, not breaking eye contact the entire time. Then, when she's bared before him, his eyes slip closed and she can tell that he's breathing her in.

He takes his time with her, he always has, which is probably why she first started having these feelings toward him in the first place. If only he could have been like every other man she's seduced over the years . . .

But then, if he were like all the others, he wouldn't currently have his face buried between her legs.

She'd never had sex with a man before Clint, not really, not for her own pleasure, not just because she wanted to. It'd always been for one job or the other. Always.

After he brought her in, though, something changed inside her. Little by little, she found herself wanting him, wondering what it would be like to be with him, growing wet with anticipation for him.

And when she finally convinced both herself and him that she wasn't trying to sleep with him out of gratitude or loyalty or fear, she found out that not all men were after a quick fuck and bragging rights.

Clint's never said a word to anyone about how they spend their free hours together.

She's relaxing now underneath his sure touch; she can feel each vertebra in her spine slowly dip down lower into the mattress.

One of his arms snakes its way up her body as his tongue explores her folds. His fingers brush across her pebbled nipples through her shirt, and when his nose nudges a particularly sensitive part of her anatomy, she can't resist moaning out loud.

The operative word being loud.

Clint laughs in response, and the low rumble causes her breath to quicken. His right arm moves from where it's pinning her hip to the bed and he slips two fingers inside of her.

Her brain shorts out as he finger fucks her right there on his bed, and all of her many thoughts and concerns slip away. She's focused now on the way he feels as he resumes his licking and nudging, and she can feel an orgasm building low in her stomach.

He slips another finger inside her and pinches her nipple firmly and the pleasure is so very, very intense but it's his sucking on her clit that finally sends her over the edge.

She comes back down to the pleasant realization that she needs him, now.

She uses her grip in his hair to turn his gaze up at her, and she's never seen anything hotter than Clint Barton's lust filled gaze as he sucks one last time on her clit then licks the full length of her pussy before making his way slowly up her body.

He hovers over her on all fours, and as she looks down between them, she can see that his cock is rigid in his boxer briefs, and there's a bit of wet on the front of his bulge from his pre-cum. Before Clint, Natasha was always somewhat indifferent to male anatomy. Now, she's practically salivating.

He leans down and kisses her then, and she can taste herself on him, mixed with the beer flavor from earlier. It's a taste unique to them, and she wouldn't have it any other way.

Hooking one leg around his hips, they both grin when she flips him over onto his back and she scrambles on top of him. He shouldn't get to have all the fun.

She grinds herself on his cock, and she can feel him twitching through his shorts. He's got a hold of her hips now, and he thrusts upward in time with her own movements. He would be in her if it weren't for that last thin barrier.

So she gets rid of it, standing up and pulling them off him in one smooth motion. And just as suddenly as she stood up, she's right back where she was, sitting on top of his cock, feeling the head rub against her very sensitive clit.

She lifts herself a little bit, and as naturally as breathing, Clint slips his hand down to grab himself and helps guide his length into her.

It's so perfect and so right and so unlike anything they've been before that she decides then, in that moment as she slides herself onto him that she's just going to let herself feel for once. That she's not going to push away all the conflicted pangs that race through her when she looks at her partner.

Maybe it's because she's drunk, maybe she'll feel differently in the morning, but right now all she wants to do is feel this man move beneath her, rolling his hips and releasing moans in concert with her own.

They both exhale when she's finally seated fully on him, and flutters of pleasure ripple through her as she stretches to accommodate his girth.

She swears in Russian, then begins to move.

Clint's mouth is open and he's panting and moaning as she rides him, and she can tell he doesn't know what part of her to focus on. His hands are everywhere, too, and it takes only a few thrusts before she feels another orgasm growing.

"Fuck, Tash," he grinds out between clenched teeth. His face and neck are flushed, but his eyes have settled on hers, and she can tell that he's as close as she is.

They move in tandem now, like always, and it's as good in the bedroom as it ever was out in the field. At last, too soon, she's exploding, arching her back and crying out, and she can feel him coming as well, his pleasure drawing her own out.

She starts giggling some time during her orgasm, a real giggle, not the fake, flirty laugh she uses on her marks or the derisive snort that passes for her laugh amongst her colleagues.

No, here, with Clint, she's giggling like the schoolgirl she never was, and it's wonderful.

The mood is catching, and Clint joins her in her laughter, both of them happy for once.

And if love is only for children, well, then they're just going to have to come up with a new word for whatever it is they have.

Please let me know what you think! I've got a few more of these in me, I think, and I'd love to hear if you think I should continue on!

Thanks for reading!